Maritime scrimshaw, a unique American art form, has its roots in the age of wooden ships. In the 18th Century, whaler sailing ships harvested whale and walrus blubber for lamp oil and candle wax. The sailors on whaling ships had a lot of spare time on board their ships. When not hunting and processing whales, mariners occupied free time etching and making small objects from whaling byproducts. Bones and teeth of sperm whales, baleen, and walrus tusks were readily available on board ship.
Most original nautical scrimshaw pieces were anonymous. Many of these scrimshaw engravings were adapted from books and papers. Scrimshaw crafted before 1973 (from sperm whale ivory, walrus ivory etc.), during the 19th and 20th Centuries, is legal. It is prohibited after 1973 for commercial import in the U.S. under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This historical set includes a resin replica of a 19th Century American scrimshaw. This horizontally designed scrimshaw commemorates the Ship Whaler Lion.
The front depicts a large urn, highly ornamental with fruits, leaves and ferns dated 1827. The back of the tooth shows a typical whaling scene, with a single-topsail ship bearing U.S. ensign and pennants. A second ship appears in the background. Two whaleboats are approaching with several sperm whales in the background.
Includes 1 resin museum-quality replica of an actual scrimshaw carving of the Whaler Lion mounted on a 5"x 7" card!
Approximately 3.5" long.
Click on image for larger version.